Marco Fu

On-fire Marco Fu takes on ailing Ronnie O’Sullivan for place in Masters final

Hong Kong star is going for his second tournament win a row

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 January, 2017, 10:03am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 January, 2017, 10:04am

Hong Kong’s Marco Fu Ka-chun will take on superstar Ronnie O’Sullivan for a place in the final of the Masters after he notched the highest break of the tournament so far in easing past Mark Allen 6-2.

Defending champion O’Sullivan had to climb off his sick bed to defeat Neil Robertson 6-3 as he aims for a record seventh victory at London’s Alexandra Palace.

Fu, a Masters runner-up in 2010, rattled in a 140 against Allen and showed no nerves when the Englishman pulled back from 3-0 down to 3-2, rattling off the next three to book his place in the last four.

Fu won the Scottish Open last month and is reckoned by seasoned observers to be playing the best snooker of his career after a poor start to the season.

The world number eight has made four centuries and nine 50+ breaks in two matches at the sport’s leading invitational event.

“I played very well today,” Fu said. “Right from the start I was 100 per cent focused because I needed to be like that against a player of Mark’s calibre. I’m just really happy with my game at the moment.

“Winning the match was the most important thing – to get the high break as well was a bonus. Everything seems to be coming together at the right time.

“These games are what I practise for, to be able to play Ronnie at the Masters. It’s the match that everyone dreams about, playing Jimmy [White] in London, Ronnie in London. I’m looking forward to it a lot.

“I’m hoping I can get even better but at the moment I’m playing the best snooker of my life. The spell started at the UK Championship, continued in Scotland and it’s still going now. I couldn’t ask for a better time to have a good spell.

“I’m still a dark horse for the event because I’ve never won it before. Technically, I don’t know what it takes to win this tournament. I hope this is my week, but I’m just taking it one match at a time.”

Robertson started strongly against O’Sullivan, but the Rocket won four frames in a row from 2-2.

He has been struggling with illness but warned Fu he was on the mend.

“Physically I feel better. The last three or four days I’ve been really ill and this is the first day I actually feel better,” O’Sullivan said.

“I’ve needed a bit of luck to get through. They’re all tough matches but I just keep hanging in there. I felt I just dragged him down but that’s all you can do sometimes.

“Maybe you miss easy balls as you get older and that’s the difference between winning and losing but hopefully I’ve got three decent years in me.”